Feeds

EMC flash man: PCM will save us from the Incredible Shrinking NAND

Someone must've ironed out Phase Change Memory's kinks

3 Big data security analytics techniques

EMC's flash exec expects Phase Change Memory - one of the possible non-volatile successors to flash - to appear in storage architectures from next year.

Phase Change Memory exploits the differing resistance levels in chalcogenide materials as they change from an amorphous to a crystalline state and back again, background here.

It is anticipated that, as NAND process geometries shrink beyond 15nm or so, the working life will fall off drastically, speed will slacken and the error checking and correction logic will become much more complicated. At that point, roughly, it is hoped, a post-NAND technology will be productised and deliver chips that are denser than flash, faster than flash, approaching DRAM speed, byte-addressable instead of block-addressable, and with a longer working life. That seems like a real big ask.

Micron, IBM, Hynix and Samsung are are all involved with PCM technology, and Micron recently announced it had started mass production of PCM chips. However they are involved in other post-NAND technology possibilities as well... None of them has committed wholeheartedly to PCM and there have been problems with building chips with sufficient capacity, speed and storage density. Notwithstanding these issues, EMC has voted for PCM.

PCM Schematic

Schematic diagram of PCM cell

Zahid Hussain is EMC's SVP and flash product division general manager, and he has a couple of predictions for 2013. Firstly, he predicts greater use of flash:

In 2013, flash is no longer the future game changer - it's now the norm, ubiquitous in all storage architectures." No surprise there ...

Secondly, he adds:

In 2013, we will see a flurry of investment activity in PCM-based architectures. With this non-volatile random-access memory, the industry will begin to augment existing offerings and deliver an alternative extremely fast storage option with even lower latencies than flash technology, beginning to approach DRAM type of speeds.

EMC is working with Micron on its VFCache PCIe flash cards and its Project Thunder box of VFCache cards. Perhaps Micron is more positive about PCM's prospects in private than in public and has been sending PCM messages EMC's way.

The company seems to be anticipating quite wide PCM adoption: "We will see a flurry of investment activity in PCM-based architectures," Hussain said.

So who else is going to jump? Perhaps Hussain knows something we don't - El Reg's guess is that Micron is deeply involved in telling him what that something is. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.